I am sure that many of you are familiar with the expression “sometimes you’re the bat and sometimes you’re the ball.” I think most people can identify with it. It seems to pair quite nicely with the concept of Murphy’s Law. Of course, life in general would be easier if our position as the bat or ball changed on a fairly regular basis. But alas, that is not the case-at least not for me. I seem to have seasons-long seasons- of being the ball. This past year I discovered that it is possible to be the ball and not even know it.
In September, I became the ball. I was slammed right down center field. Since the beginning of the school year, I taught five separate classes a day and two hours after school four times a week. I did all this with a maximum of thirty minutes planning time a day. My evenings and weekends were often spent planning and organizing. I was the ball sailing along wondering when I would land. I didn’t know I was the ball because I love teaching. The after school classes were the time for all the hands-on activities that the schedule didn’t allow during normal school hours. It was my chance to be creative and allow my students to be creative. I was exhausted, but I continued to push through. I didn’t realize how stressful it was on me. I was so busy creating for school that I didn’t even have time to write. When my day was over, my brain was dead.
In March, I learned my position was being cut. I cried for weeks on my drive home as I thought about leaving behind the children that I built relationships with during my 12 years in the district. I was in shock and wondering what I would do next. This ball was headed right for a wall.
It just so happened that I was reading a book entitled The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson. In the book, Batterson makes the point that God often sets us up for miracles in our lives by creating circumstances that push us out of our comfort zones and providing the right nudge at the right time. I knew I certainly had the circumstances. Batterson also makes the point that everyone wants to see miracles, but nobody wants to be in the position to need one- that description certainly fit me.
There I was in need of a miracle in circumstances that would force me outside my comfort zone when the nudge came. The school secretary handed me a job positing for an assistant to the Director of Student Services. The secretary thought I would be perfect for the job and encouraged me to apply. I have a background in special education and years of experience as a paralegal. I applied and got the job. Not only did I get the job, I started exactly one week after my interview. God didn’t just open a door, He shoved me through it.
This new job fits me like tight jeans on Kim Kardashian. I am happy beyond words. When people tell me that I am in one of the most stressful jobs in the district, I am not quite sure what to say. Yes, there are days I work long hours to get things done. However, my time is my own when I go home. I have time to write again. My brain isn’t dead upon exiting my job. I have time to take walks again. I had no idea how extremely stressed I was. At a doctor’s appointment last week, my doctor was amazed at how relaxed I looked. My blood pressure was down. I am clearly up to bat.
My point is that even the things we love the most can stress us out. We can be on overload without even noticing. I happen to believe that writing is part of my calling in life. I see this situation as proof that I am watched over and taken care of. I was shutting myself down until I read just the right book at just the right time with the perfect nudge to apply for just the right job. Coincidence? I think not.